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2008:

U 60 meeting From 27. - 29. of June 2008 sisters under 60 met in Salzburg from the Provinces of Germany and Austria-Switzerland-Czech Republic. As there were sisters from different countries like Austria, Germany, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Malta, the sharing and all of the dialogues were held in German and English.

Sr.M. Gratia, our Provincial invited us to this meeting and also prepared it. The theme referred to the next Congregational Chapter:
 "Weavers of Compassion and Reconciliation in Global Solidarity".

We spent our time for personal reflection and for the sharing of single terms of the chapter theme.
At the end of our gathering we orientated us on the example of the apostels and wrote down the following statement of our mission:


Sisters of the Good Shepherd
fulfilled with Jesus -
living their mission
in solidarity
acting
according the situations

The meeting was very enriching. Also the experience of the community with the sisters in Salzburg during prayers, meals and the encounters, which everybody enjoyed.

Sr.M. Ruth Riepan returned to our Province on 23rd June, 2008. She has worked as a missionary on the Island of Mauritius for 17 years. Above all, she helped women to learn to help themselves. Together with them, she developed projects in which women learned sewing, in order to be able to earn their own living.

On returning, she went to Canada for 3 1/2 years to attend the "Institut de Formation humaine Integrale de Montreal".

At the moment, she is preparing for her new mission in Rumania. From the end of August 2008, she will be working on a social project of the organisation "Concordia", a house for street children with urgent needs, which was founded by Father Georg Sporschill, SJ.


 



 The Provincial Chapter of

 

Austria-Switzerland-Czech Republic
was celebrated
from 15. - 25. April 2008 in Vill, Innsbruck, with the theme: 

"Catch fire, be a spark,
living stones in God's house"

During the opening liturgy, the Chapter candle 2008 was lit.

Subsequently, all the sisters who were present prayed this prayer together:


 "Jesus Christ, you are the living stone.
Let us also become living stones.
Make us open for your Holy Ghost
who is the giver of life".

Make us open for your healing spirit,
who creates community.
Set us on fire.
Inflame in us the fire of your love.
Let us be fire - be a sign,
devoted to our fellow human beings
let us make known God's ways.


After an extensive reflection about the past six years in our Province, 22 delegated Apostolic Sisters together with our Contemplative Sisters, worked out concrete steps for the next 3 years.




Sr.Maria Gratia Schneeweiß was again declared Provincial of Austria - Switzerland - Czech Republic.






The Provincial Chapter was also the preparation for the Congregational Chapter 2009, in our Mother House in Angers.
Sr.M. Melitta Fragner was elected as the delegate of our Province to the Congregation Chapter.
In October 2008, Sr.M. Theresia Pönner - Austria, Sr.M. Dominique Mitelette - Switzerland and Sr.M. Prisca Perera - Czech Republic, will travel to the Intercontinental Meeting of the European Provinces with Africa, the Near East and the Islands of Madagaskar, Mauritius and Reunion (RIMOA). The goal is the preparation for the Congregational Chapter 2009.
Sr.M. Gratia Schneeweiß and Sr. Elizabeth Garciano cgs, will take part in the Intercontinental Meeting of the Contemplative Sisters in Quito - Ecuador.

The Provincial Chapter 2008 closed with the Holy Eucharist in the Parish of Völs, near Innsbruck. Guests from our schools and laities from different areas of our communities were invited to celebrate with us.




Feast of Fidelity, 7th June 2008



As every year, all the Profess-celebrants of the Province celebrated the Feast of Fidelity in our house in Salzburg.
"Feast of Fidelity" because we wish to thank God for His guidance and for His loyalty. In addition, all the sisters of the Province who wished to come, were also invited.
Each year, this is a great family feast of thankfulness; a feast of sisterly meeting and exchange.

This year, nine sisters are celebrating their jubilee of between 40 and 70 years of Profess. Two celebrants were unable to take part in the feast, because they were ill.

Herr Prälat Dr. Matthäus Appesbacher, Vicar of Orders of the Archdiocese of Salzburg, celebrated the Holy Eucharist and received the celebrants solemn renewal of their vows.
During the festive lunch, there was the opportunity for contact and exchange between sisters who had not seen one another for a long time.
A Service of Thanks, with texts and symbols on the theme: "The Good Shepherd" rounded off this day of celebration.
It remains for us all to thank those sisters, who with the help of the Good Shepherd, have loyally trodden the path their calling.




Sr.M. Assumpta celebrates 55 years of her Profess (left)
Sr.M. Viktoria celebrates 45 years of her Profess (right)




Sr.M. Flora celebrates 50 years of her Profess


.

 

Sr.M. Bernadette celebrates 25 years of her Profess


2007:


1997 - 2007

10th anniversary of the opening of "St. Euphrasia House"


Sisters from different parts of Europe started streaming into Ostrava on the 3rd of October. We welcomed among us Sisters Ethna and Christel who had been involved directly in this home for mothers and children from the start. It was pouring rain ... many blessings from Heaven ...

 


The following day, the sun was shining. To the joy of the community, our provincial Leader, Sister Gratia and her council arrived from Austria. A couple of hours later Sister Benedicta, superior of Vienna Community, accompanied Sr. Agnes Schüler who came to join the Mission in Ostrava. They came by van as she needed to bring most of her belongings with her. The community in Ostrava gave a hearty welcome to the sisters who came loaded with gifts, and especially to Sr. Agnes the most precious gift of all!!!


The sisters in the community have been very busy preparing the house for the welcoming of the sisters for the celebration. The Staff in St. Euphrasia house as well as the mothers were also very excited and looking forward to this unique occasion.


Finally the much-awaited day arrived! All the sisters, Staff members, mothers and children filed happily towards the parish church in Ludgerovice to participate in the thanksgiving Mass. The main celebrant was Fr. Tecarsik the Bishop's Vicar general. The Parish priest and Fr. Forgacek, the representative of CARITAS in the Diocese concelebrated. The parish choir led the Congregation with their beautiful singing. During the homily, Fr. Tecarsik showed great appreciation of the presence and work of the Good Shepherd Sisters in the Diocese. Fr. Forgacek very kindly translated into German for the benefit of the Austrian sisters present. A meaningful procession with the offerings followed: flowers, candles, Good Shepherd symbol ... Sisters, Staff, Lay Associates, mothers and children were represented.


At the end of the Eucharistic celebration all present and absent who personally, financially, materially or spiritually supported St. Euphrasia House were thanked. All the Congregation were then invited to come and visit the house and meet the clients over a cup of tea or coffee.


  In the afternoon a concert was given in the same church, during which our Bishop Frantisekt Lobkowicz honoured us with his presence. Many people attended and were loud in praising the singers. The people were very good as to support the house with their contributions. After the concert, the Staff, sisters and Clients were proud to take the visitors around the house. The mothers had the rooms very nicely decorated with beautiful dahlias given by our neighbours. We welcomed many visitors and all showed appreciation of the work being done with the clients. Every one received a bookmark which was handmade in memory for the occasion.


In the evening all the sisters got together and went out for dinner to relax together and share of their experiences during the day. All of us felt very happy with the celebration and the participation of all. The next day saw an exodus of sisters!!! We gratefully and sadly waved our goodbyes to the sisters who had to return to their communities in Austria, Switzerland. We shall all be carrying in our hearts very beautiful memories of this beautiful event!


Sr. Doris Saliba, Ostrava